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Jenny's Reviews

Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You by Renee Erickson

If one of the main reasons for travel and vacation is the food, we’re more than halfway there with Getaway. Renee Erickson’s new book is gorgeous and will transport you to some of her favorite places, including Rome, Paris, Baja California, and London. I love her stories and that her recipes bring out the flavor in food with simple cooking methods that won’t leave you with a pile of dishes to clean. The Ricotta and Roasted Cherry Tomato Crostini with Too Much Olive Oil is a perfect example of mouth-watering goodness that outshines the effort. With 120 food recipes and 60 cocktail recipes, I’ll have plenty to hold me over until the time is right to travel again. — Jenny

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Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You Cover Image
By Renee Erickson, Diana Henry (Foreword by), Jim Henkens (By (photographer)), Jeffry Mitchell (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419740398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams - April 27th, 2021

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

This is the perfect paperback to take with you on a vacation in your own backyard or wherever you end up going. Taking place in post-colonial India in the 1950s, this is a love story—love of traditions, love of family, love of self, and a journey of self-worth. Escaping from an arranged and abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi pursues her dream of an independent life becoming the henna artist and confidante to wealthy women of the upper class. You will gasp at the risks she takes, cheer her on as she perseveres, and weep at her pain and struggle. I didn’t want it to end and can’t wait for the sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, available June 22nd. — Jenny

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The Henna Artist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778331476
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mira Books - April 6th, 2021

The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama

Redolent with the smells of mango trees, pineapple fields, market fish, and flowing lava, The Color of Air takes place in 1930s Hawaii, where sugarcane and pineapple plantations are owned by privileged white families, managed by Portuguese overseers, and worked by Japanese immigrants seeking a new life and a piece of the American Dream. A son of plantation workers and now a young doctor, Daniel finds himself navigating acceptance and forgiveness. Returning home scared and confused, he is reacquainted with the memories and stories of family and friends and learns how to let go and live. Tsukiyama does an artful job of telling the stories of each character and how they contribute to the heartbeat of the island and its community. — Jenny

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The Color of Air: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062976208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperVia - May 4th, 2021

The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel by Abi Daré

Captivated from page one, I couldn't stop reading until I had journeyed all the way through to the last page. The Girl with the Louding Voice holds heartbreak, desperation, corruption, injustice, but also resilience, hope, grit, courage, empathy, and love for herself and others. Abi Daré has masterfully crafted 14-year-old Adunni's story and given her a voice that will be heard. Set in present day Nigeria, it is hard to fathom that child marriage and polygamy are still happening and through Adunni's story, we see the worst and the best of humanity, in spite of terrible circumstances. For those who loved Where the Crawdads Sing, you will find a new friend to rally around in Adunni, find yourself grateful for the helpers, wonder at the mystery, and cry tears over the triumph. —Jenny

This book is part of our Spring Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524746094
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - February 23rd, 2021

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

Homeland Elegies defies genres. Calling it a novel implies it’s not true, but I’ve never read anything more brutally honest, relevant, or personal. Akhtar may be known as an author and a playwright, but this book reads like an opera with recurring choruses, haunting variations on a theme, dramatic tension, characters that are larger than life, sex scenes, death scenes, and cliff hangers. And all along you know that you too play a part, because this is all actually happening right now on the world stage. This is not a novel about immigration and integration. This is an elegy, a poem of serious reflection, a lament, about home. — Jenny

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Homeland Elegies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316496421
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 15th, 2020

The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin

I love these gals! Their approach and strategies give new life and enthusiasm to getting organized. Leave your self-shame and berating at the door, because The Home Edit Life is all about encouraging you to live your life as it is and making it work better for you by noticing what's holding you back. Is it about decluttering and getting organized? Yes, but it's really more about how you notice and cultivate your environment as you go, so that you stop throwing those mile-long receipts into the bottom of your purse for no good reason.  — Jenny

The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593138304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - September 15th, 2020

Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today by Anne Willan

Many of us have a connection to a particular woman who commanded the kitchen at family gatherings, as well as memories that evoke sounds, smells, tastes, and sights that we try and recreate with our present day families from recipes scrawled on index cards. Anne Willan unpacks the stories of female cookbook writers throughout history and their recipes, methods,and backgrounds that have influenced many aspects of our own kitchen practices today. Women like Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan, with all of their notoriety, still had a process of utility, economy, discovery, sometimes failure, and ultimately creation. —Jenny

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Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501173318
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scribner - August 11th, 2020

It Starts with Fruit by Jordan Champagne

What is the difference between jams, marmalades, preserves, and butters? Oh, you’re going to learn and you’re going to love it! And how about shrubs? Have you ever sipped a shrub? Not the bush kind, but a fruit syrup, preserved with vinegar and mixed with water or alcohol to make a refreshing beverage. It Starts with Fruit will quell all of your fears about canning and inspire you to preserve everything you see at the farmers’ market. The photography and illustrations are beautiful and the stories that accompany each recipe will make it seem like you’re preserving more than just food.


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